I am currently at week 8 of a 10 week quarter. Some of my students are really feeling the strain. And of course, as teachers we are also feeling the burn. Our students are stressing out, we have a lot of material left to cover, and grading and projects are piling up.
Momentum feels like your friend. It isn’t always.
So, take a moment for reflection in your class. Thank the students for working hard, and for caring enough to do this for themselves. And remind them what they are doing things for. At the beginning of the quarter, I try to get my students talking about their dream jobs. Reconnect them with their dreams and goals, and get them ready for their final push. I will also remind them of something I tell them in the first week:
Two things will happen if you study math for a while: you will hit a wall at some point, and you will blow your mind.
The other day in my classroom I was a bit early. I had a few extra minutes, so I asked some my early students “You wanna see something fun?” They were at just the right moment, so I just randomly showed them how to derive the Pythagorean theorem. Most of them had heard of it, and had vague notion of what it was used for… but when I showed them how to figure it out, they were blown away.
It’s good to be a rockstar. 🙂
One of the greatest compliments I ever received was when a student said to me “I don’t know what happens… it is like my brain explodes on the paper, and it’s right.” I love it when I hear the clue-by-four connect with my students. When I can SEE them making the connections. Which is what I need periodically for my motivation.
… and now, I am going to take break for some well deserved self-care.